Another letter from SSE to Ebico customers – A personal response by Phil Levermore, MD, Ebico Ltd.

I know that Ebico’s former supply partner, SSE, has recently written to EquiGas & EquiPower customers about their ‘SSE Zero Electric’ and ‘SSE Zero Gas’ tariffs. I wanted to clear up any confusion this might have caused as soon as possible.

For many years, Ebico partnered with SSE to supply our EquiGas and EquiPower energy tariffs. Unfortunately, towards the end of last year it became clear that SSE’s priorities and strategy, particularly in respect of prices, were no longer aligned with ours. In January, we therefore established a new not-for-profit energy partnership with Robin Hood Energy, the UK’s first council owned energy company.

Our two new tariffs, Ebico PrePay and Ebico Zero offer customers more affordable, flexible deals with no exit fees or tie ins – both with a price guarantee until December 2017.

I feel, now, that it is important that customers are given the information that SSE neglected to include in its recent marketing correspondence.

Ebico Zero is already at least 4.5% cheaper than EquiGas & EquiPower
SSE will, on the 28th April, be increasing its electricity price by around 14%
SSE, unlike Ebico, has not offered a price guarantee until December 2017

Quite apart from the omission of this key information, I am surprised at the apparent lack of imagination in SSE HQ, renaming EquiGas & EquiPower as ‘SSE Zero’ – which sounds remarkably similar to our ‘Ebico Zero’ offer.

The letter informs the reader that Ebico can’t transfer EquiGas/EquiPower customers to the Ebico Zero tariff unless the customer actively asks for it, which I accept.  Yet it seems to me irresponsible for SSE, in its correspondence, to encourage customers to do nothing – ensuring that they remain on the same tariff – whilst neglecting to mention SSE’s upcoming price increase on the 28th of April.

SSE’s letter concludes with, in my view, a thinly-veiled warning for those with the temerity to escape the clutches of a Big-6 company and switch to an independent supplier. I would like to reassure customers that Robin Hood Energy is a robust, responsible, and not-for-profit licenced energy supplier. We are delighted that together we can continue our fight against rising fuel poverty in the UK, providing energy contracts that function fairly for all consumers, for many years to come.

So, to be clear, customers who have not yet let us know that they would like to switch to Ebico Zero, and do not tell us soon that they would like to do so, will remain supplied by SSE at the more expensive energy rates of the EquiGas/EquiPower tariff (to be renamed ‘SSE Zero’) and will be subject to SSE’s increase in the electricity price on the 28th of April. Customers who have already let us know that they want to move with us to Ebico Zero, and those that decide to opt-in within the next few weeks, will benefit from the tariff’s lower energy prices, the December 2017 price guarantee, and will avoid SSE’s April price increase.  This is why we have made every effort to be as proactive and transparent as possible in our communications with you.

Phil Levermore